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Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48686929) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

The music situation is always really fluid, it's not uncommon to have a particular song in the film but a different song on the DVDs and VOD for rights reasons. Also it's not unheard of for the studio to replace a song after the film's released, they used to ship new reels to the theater but now they just upload a new DCP to the theatre chain headquarters, they all program it from their via satellite.

It's the music supervisor's job to clear all the music, he'll give the picture editor music that he thinks he can clear and then he'll start negotiation if it takes. By the time the final mix is happening he'll usually at least have all the music in negotiation and there won't be any music that's flat off-limits. It sounds like here he started to clear the song and he probably had the number in his spreadsheet (I'm not up on my rates but a $50k-$100k buyout for this usage in all media would kinda be standard). They just didn't do the paperwork -- add to this the artist might have gotten cold feet after the hack when it was alleged that North Korea was involved.

They might update the mix with a different song and just settle with the label. This is what Errors & Omissions insurance is for.

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 1) 94

It is a fairly well known problem that men and minorities are underrepresented in the teaching profession, particularly in the lower grades. If you were paying any attention at all to the teaching community, you would know that teacher education programs are trying to recruit and retain more men. A quick Google search to get you started...

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 3, Interesting) 94

I only have my own personal anecdote, but I was the top boy in my highschool class by far. That didn't even get me into the top 10% of my class, though, since the top 10% were all girls. I think the only other boy in the honor society was a boy from the next year's class but I can't remember. (I know who the next highest boy in the school's ranking was but I don't remember whether or not he hit the cutoff for honor society.)

This was during the 90s in a public high school, so it wasn't like the population was simply unbalanced. This is hardly a new problem. Our education system simply doesn't engage with boys and hasn't for years at this point.

If you want links, though, it isn't hard to find them:

Itâ(TM)s Time to Worry: Boys Are Rapidly Falling Behind Girls in School
How to Make School Better for Boys: Start by acknowledging that boys are languishing while girls are succeeding.
Education: Boys Falling Behind Girls in Many Areas (Paywalled, so I have no idea what it says)

Those were just the top results on Google.

Comment: Re:Okay.... so what? (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48686339) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

a film that treats North Korea as a whipping boy.

Ironically I think the film's a lot harder on American celebtriy culture than North Korea. I mean Kim Jong-un's a bad guy, but the North Korean people are portrayed as sympathetic and the real butt of all the jokes is invariably James Franco's character. The idea that the movie is actually "anti" North Korea is sorta overblown.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48686271) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

I don't think they're related, the film was almost ready to release when the hack occurred meaning they had a final or very nearly final cut.

I am a sound editor on features, I worked about 9 months at Sony this year (on Fury and 22 Jump Street mostly, not Interview). They can replace music days before the movie is released, particularly now because most shows are distributed almost exclusively on DCP. It's not unusual to printmaster the movie (finalize all the sound) and still not have all the music deals in place. Music is an independent process from the "final cut".

All of the PCs at Sony were still down in mid-December, nobody in any of the administrative departments could access any of the work they'd left on their machines or on servers prior to the hack, everybody had to lug in their Macbooks to get any work done -- Macs were unaffected by the hack. I can't imagine how they could have dotted all their i's for the delivery with one days notice and no corporate PC infrastructure.

Comment: Re: Shut it down (Score 1) 188

By picking the shape and trajectory, we can have quite good accuracy on where to land the debris. Pick a piece of federal desert land and there you go.

Seriously, the scenario as I understand it is: we'd park an asteroid in a high orbit

Bad assumption right from the beginning. That's a terrible waste of energy. You mine an earth-crossing asteroid. Chunks mined off an earth-crossing asteroid can be put onto an earth-intersecting trajectory with only the tiniest of delta-V (you might have to wait a long time your payloads, but no problem there). The amount of delta-V is so low (dozens to hundreds of m/s) that you wouldn't even need to use a rocket, you could just kick it off with a railgun or similar. Then you don't brake it when it gets to earth - it brakes itself by crossing through Earth's atmosphere ("aerocapture"). There are various optional things one could do with the reentry chunks to assist, such as small rockets for trajectory adjustment en-route or small high-speed chutes to keep the asteroids from completely obliterating themselves on reentry / landing (no need for a soft landing, it's fine for them to hit moving at hundreds of meters per second). Both of these would be dwarfed orders of magnitude over by the mass of the return chunk.

All you, as a mining operation, need to do is get your operation up to the asteroid. You need to be able to mine off chunks, shaped appropriately for optimal reentry, and kick them off onto an ideal reentry trajectory toward your target impact zone - potentially with the various hardware systems described as above, but in the base case, not with anything at all. You need a source of power (solar, nuclear) for mining and to kick your chunks into their Earth-intercept trajectory. And of course you have to deal with a million and one details, starting with how to mine at all in microgravity and what targets would actually have commercially viable quantities of valuable minerals.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48686189) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

"The point is nobody ever "has" dollars in the first place"

Note that I only made this point in the course of granting your position that only "substantial" things are truly property. Your argument is internally inconsistent.

This is why I really have no pity for media pirates. It's not that they make copies for themselves, or even that they give them to their friends or a million strangers. Hell I've done that every now and then.

It's that they do this, and then they insist on writing thousand-word screeds about how it's their sacred natural right to do this, and how it has absolutely no negative consequences, and anybody that actually tries to make sense of their ideological hash by working through the entailments is an "idiot." They don't know what they're talking about, they know just enough political science to be dangerous, and their underlying justifications are constantly shifting in order to serve their overarching commitment: "If the Internet makes something possible, it must be permitted, and anybody who gets hurt in the process deserves it."

You don't even address the consequences I've clearly pointed out, and you haven't even tried to work through how it's different to sell something as opposed to merely copy it, you just want to have your argument both ways depending on the circumstances, and you haven't contradicted me in the slightest, you just play dumbass comment thread games to weasel out of explaining yourself.

Comment: Re: Shut it down (Score 1) 188

Which is why you send as optimal of a size and shape as possible. Note that asteroids normally come in randomly and have random shapes. Humans can have a huge impact on the behavior by choosing an optimal shape and trajectory. And, as mentioned, drogue chutes could be used to further reduce the free fall velocity - not for a gentle impact, simply to keep the velocity down to a level that it won't completely obliterate itself in the atmosphere or on impact.

Comment: Re:I think its gonna be a long long time (Score 3, Interesting) 54

Yeah, but experience with gigantic hypersonic parachutes is also rather limited.

Again, it's really doubtful that there's any show stoppers here. But there's a lot that needs to be done before you can bet a whole mission on these sort of things. There's many thousands of little details that could kill the crew if they go wrong, so the odds of any one doing so must be kept to the tiniest fraction of a percent.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48686057) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

Whoosh. If I take a dollar from you, be it physical or an electronic debit, you no longer have it.

You were making an argument for copyright not being a "natural right" because it doesn't protect some "substance." The point is nobody ever "has" dollars in the first place, they're a convention -- when someone debits dollars from your account they're not actually "taking" anything from you, they're just moving numbers around on a spreadsheet. Somebody made a law that said dollars are worth something, and that their debits and credits have to match, just as somebody made a law that said you can't copy other people's recordings without permission. The two laws have equal merit and standing.

If I copy a work (not copy and then sell/distribute, but merely copy), it takes nothing away from the creator.

But why make that exception? You can sell the copy and that doesn't take anything away from the creator, does it? He still has his copy. Selling the copies for money is no different than giving them away from the perspective of "natural" excludable property, unless you accept that creators have a right to sales -- a right which, in any case, is moot if free copies are permitted, as free copies fully supplement paid ones. If people are allowed to make and distribute free copies than the "right" of copyright becomes little more than the right to beg for charity.

What's the limits of 'selling' exactly? Does it include attaching advertising space to the "free" copy, advertising space which you sell to a third party for money? That'd definitely be profiting off of the original work, even if it's not "selling," and would include your Kim Dotcom types...

Comment: Re:I think its gonna be a long long time (Score 3, Insightful) 54

Except that your terminal velocity on Mars is orders of magnitude higher than on Earth. Decelerate to subsonic then fall and you'll be back supersonic in no time.

I'm sure this is possible to do, but it absolutely requires more research and testing.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48685611) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

Almost certainly this was just some production screwup. Someone at Sony thought the the license was taken care, because of that they stopped calling back and the music never got licensed.

What probably happened was the music supervisor was working on getting the clearance right up until the day of the hack, and he hasn't been able to get onto his computer since -- all of the PCs at Sony have been down ever since the Day because they're doing a huge forensic audit. And then a week went by and Sony announced they weren't going to release the movie, and the music sup just forgot about locking down the last licensing deal since it seemed like a dead letter.

And then Sony announced they were going to screen the movie with one days notice and they rushed the due-diligence.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 157

by iluvcapra (#48685587) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

it is copying, and nothing of substance has been taken.

Just because something has no substance, it does not follow that it has no value. The money in your checking account has no material substance -- in fact the vast majority of US dollars in existence occupy exactly zero volume and have no physical manifestation. Taking a dollar is theft, though; the value of a dollar is a creation of law and custom, and it's as far from natural as you can get. Like copyright.

But there is no natural right to "own" a thought, and "intellectual property" laws are merely a privilege which society grants in exchange for value.

How do you come by this? Copyright doesn't protect "thoughts," it protects writings and recordings. The value society obtains is in the mere creation, which would no occur if creators could not be paid for copies of their work. If the law makes people pay for copies of works, the creators are compelled to create good works.

We don't need to imagine what the alternative looks like, the music industry already lives in a world where people don't have to pay for music, and the consequences are clear. We have Justin Bieber and Katy Perry: this is the sort of music you get when no one pays for music -- it's not made to be good, but to serve as an inoffensive substrate for commercials, and to market the "musician" as a star or brand that can be extended into more profitable models.

Basically, if you remove copyright from the creative process, all for-pay artwork simply becomes commercials, and you end up with movies like Transformers (or for that matter The Interview) -- 5-second memes attached to brand marketing, strung together for two hours. In the future, this is will be the only way people can make money creating movies, it's the equilibrium state. Piracy isn't necessary now because movies suck, movies suck now because piracy is rotting for-profit filmmaking from the inside out. And in the end all we'll have are two-hour commercials and a ton of $50,000 mumblecore movies shot in someones apartment and screened on Vimeo, made by dilettantes and rich men's wives.

(We will set aside your even more contentious notion that such a thing as natural rights exist or are a legitimate basis for law or policy.)

Why should MS-DOS still be under copyright? Lotus 1-2-3? SVR4?

We're talking about a movie that came out 5 days ago.

Comment: Re:Shop elsewhere... (Score 2) 80

by TheRaven64 (#48685315) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?
Depending on your locale, the purchase might be covered by distance selling regulations. In the UK, you have a few days in which you can cancel the order for any reason. Cancel the order citing their poor security practices as the reason, keep a copy of any correspondence, and forward it to your credit card company if they try to charge you anything.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke